Balancing a career and a family is hard enough for working women – but add pursuing an online degree to the mix. Many women will complain of feeling like they’re drowning in a sea of laundry, files, and class notes.
Many female students who feel overwhelmed by their many commitments often complain to counselors or their peers about their feeling of helplessness.
Working 40 hours a week can be a bit intense, but add to that the 10 hours of cooking, cleaning, and doing other household work – you’ll just run out of time. Remember – you need to sleep and rest. It’s no use for you to get too tired to function.
Many educational institutions report that about 70 percent of their students enrolled in the online general studies program are female. This is also reflected by trends in online undergraduate programs throughout the country. Women are the majority at about 54 percent of students in 147 online bachelor’s programs, according to a data report by U.S. News for the years 2012-2013.
It is not impossible to mix educational commitments with family and work, but it can be a challenge. Female students have shared the following tips on how to be successful in the boardroom, virtual classroom, and at home.
- Discuss your decision to enroll in an online degree program with your family members: it is the norm in a family for women who are also mothers to do more housework and childcare than the fathers, while also working full time.
Sit down with your kids and discuss how they can pitch in and share the housework with you. You can slowly give them more responsibilities. Explain the reasons why you are pursuing an education at this age – whether you want to land a job, advance to a better role at work, or improve earnings for the family. Children can understand the importance of being supportive, and they can be responsible in making sure the parent have time to study. Try to treat them like they are really part of your accomplishments.
- Take advantage of the time you have – it may not come back: For female students, it is important to know how to make every spare second count. When it comes to their studies, they can find the time while sitting in the car waiting for their child to finish piano practice, or waiting at the doctor’s office while their kid is having an annual checkup. It will always be a great opportunity to catch up on some reading or start studying.
- Naptime is great if you have small children – anyone pursuing an online Bachelor’s degree should consider following this advice. Attend to your studies while the house is quiet.
- Talk to your employer about your plans and ask for more flexible hours: Approach your employer and set up an arrangement regarding your work hours so you can have more time for your children and studies.
Employers tend to be flexible when it’s for educational purposes than they are when it comes to other needs. Arrange a one-on-one conversation with your manager to reiterate your commitment to your job, then ask for a trial period during which you can work modified hours or attempt to work from home.
- Be realistic – only commit to a workload you know you can keep up with: This is the one most important tips on being a successful employee, parent, and student. Do not burden yourself with an impossible workload. Take your time completing your online degree – there is no rush.
When you have more than one kid, assess your capability. Don’t make the mistake of taking on a full course load. Take it slow. Creating an unreasonable timeline for your online education will set you up for failure from the start.